Re: Keys. (derives from Re: Sequences of combining characters.)

From: William Overington (
Date: Fri Sep 27 2002 - 11:26:36 EDT

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    Tex Texin wrote as follows.

    >So that Peter's comments cannot be perceived as strictly Peter's view, I
    >am seconding them.

    Very well.

    >Message catalogs are not new.

    I had not heard the description "Message catalog" previously, so I can
    search for that too.

    I have previously searched under telegraphic code and language and

    An email correspondent drew my attention to the following list of "numbered

    That is an interesting document.

    I have not yet found any example oriented to language translation. I have
    not yet found any example oriented to carrying on a complete conversation.
    I have not yet found any example oriented to conveying distance education.

    This does not mean that there are not any such uses about, just that I am
    presently unaware of them.

    >A proprietary coding system is a bad idea.

    Well, it depends what one is trying to do. If one wishes to establish a
    system whereby proprietary intellectual property rights exist, then a
    proprietary coding can be a good idea. Various large companies use
    proprietary coding systems for files used with their software packages. If,
    however, one is trying to establish an open system, then you might well be

    >XML is the way to go.

    Maybe, maybe not. The issue of U+003C being used to mean LESS-THAN SIGN in
    documents which mix ordinary text and markup may or may not, depending upon
    the application, be a problem.

    >Failure to investigate the state of the art, (especially where google is
    >so effortless), means this idea is not pushing any envelope.

    Well, if you have any specific suggestions of what keywords to use in a
    search, that would be very helpful.

    The keys idea is pushing the envelope. As spin off from this discussion,
    maybe the XML people, and the Unicode Technical Committee, will do something
    about having special characters for the XML tags rather than using U+003C
    and thereby help people wanting to place mathematics and software listings
    in the same file as markup. Is using U+003C a legacy from ASCII days?

    >New ideas are welcome,


    >but as Peter and others have already defined
    >several times where the envelope needs pushing (e.g. XML), and in
    >particular where they should not (private encodings, and hi level
    >application semantics assigned to particular code points), continued
    >attempts to do so are not welcome.

    What is wrong with private encodings? The Private Use Area is there to be
    used. It is not as if it could reasonably be claimed only to be there as a
    legacy issue as two whole planes have been designated "up in the mountains"
    as I like to put it, as Private Use Area for the Unicode system. I have
    published various Private Use Area encodings, mainly for ligatures, in plane
    0, and they are there and if people want to use them in a consistent manner
    then that is fine. People may ignore them if they wish. Publication of
    Private Use Area allocations is mentioned in the Unicode Standard in Chapter
    13, section 13.5. Indeed, that is from where I got the idea of publishing
    Private Use Area allocations.

    High level application semantics assigned to particular code points are
    potentially very useful. I have published various documents on the web
    about them with Private Use Area allocations for various items such as
    colour and point size for text. Various wordprocessor package manufacturers
    have proprietary file formats which include codings for colours and point
    size, so what exactly, precisely, is wrong with having published Private Use
    Area codings which people who are writing their own software packages can
    use in a consistent manner if they choose to do so?

    Most of my postings in this thread are in response to people asking me
    specific questions and raising interesting points. That is surely why a
    discussion group exists.

    I am hoping that I can publish some web pages with some comet circumflex
    codes and sentences about asking about the weather conditions and
    temperatures at the message recipients location together with codes and
    sentences for making replies so that hopefully people who might be
    interested in some concept proving experiments can hopefully have a go at
    some fascinating experiments with this technology. Unicode can be used to
    encode many langauges and it will be interesting to find out what can be
    achieved using the comet circumflex system.

    William Overington

    27 September 2002

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